Cold Case Wiki
Wanda in 1993
Wanda Johnson
Episode Shattered
Status Deceased (1993)

Wanda Johnson was a beautiful, bubbly, and smart fifteen year old girl from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Even though she was from a “seedy” neighborhood, she had everything a girl her age and etc. would want: good looks, lots of friends, boys adoring her, being popular and smart, doing great in school, and being an athlete: she did track. Plus, having a supportive and loving family: made up of only her parents; she was their only child; only daughter. But her popularity would cause her demise. On the day she died, she would be waiting for her usual ride from school to home from her parents when two boys, Ronnie Tavares and his best friend Matt Doherty, the son of Philadelphia‘s deputy commissioner Patrick Doherty were cruising around in Matt’s family’s car when they spotted the pretty Wanda, stopped, and hopped out. It wasn’t anything random; they knew her from a party they had attended. They asked if she needed a ride. At first, she wasn’t interested: she already had one, as usual. But the boys kept on insisting: It would be quick and they wanted to get to know her better. So, she accepted. But the ride “home” would end in tragedy.

The boys first wanted to mess with a local drug dealer who they felt “stiffed” them, so that’s they did. But Matt didn’t tell the others that he had a gun for “extra muscle.” When Ronnie found out, he was furious and told his friend to put it away; let’s talk to the guy. But Matt didn’t want to hear it. While the two friends fought, Wanda, frightened and confused over how everything transpired begged the boys to take her home RIGHT NOW and they can do their revenge mission....without her or just forget about it. But horribly and recklessly, the boys continued to fight about their different views on the situation and OVER THE GUN, which would accidentally go off and fatally hit Wanda. The boys couldn’t believe their eyes and begged Wanda to wake up, but she was gone. Horrified and knowing that they would go to jail for murder/manslaughter, they took off in their vehicle, with Wanda's dead body in the backseat and dumped her remains in a ugly part of the city: The Bandlands! In 2010, now young men and former best friends, destroyed by their secret would be brought in and remorsefully confess to their crime, shocking everyone: the son of the deputy commissioner....involved? But shockingly, there was evidence that Patrick Doherty knew what his son and his then best friend did and “swept it under the rug. “Specifically, he found blood in the car, HIS car, the one the two boys used that fateful day and where Wanda died when he was cleaning it up.

Will Jeffries imagined seeing her in the archives after the case was solved.